One Pomona project update

Independent California Citizens Redistricting Commission

Public Input Hearing

Friday, April 29, 2011

San Gabriel Mission Playhouse

320 Mission Drive

San Gabriel, CA 91776

6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

The Pomona Valley Democratic Club encourages residents of Pomona to participate in the hearing process. Together, our voices will aid the Independent California Citizens Redistricting Commission by informing it of our collective concern regarding the imperative necessity of keeping our community together and united with similar communities, ensuring that the intent of federal Voting Rights Act is not violated.

Please read below what we believe should be the guiding principles that must be adhered to by the 14 member Independent California Citizens Redistricting Commission.

The following principles serve to refocus the discussion on the core considerations for analyzing reapportionment data:

1. Redistricting is a process that centers on people and groups of people, not political parties. While parties seek to influence redistricting to their advantage, and map drawing involves politics and affects political outcomes, it must focus first and foremost on communities of people.

2. It is therefore critical that communities of people understand redistricting as a process that demands their attention and involvement; the process must not be ceded solely to partisan political interests. All communities must feel able and welcome to participate meaningfully in their state and local redistricting processes.

3. Communities of color, in particular, have faced numerous obstacles to their meaningful participation in the political process, including the redistricting process. The federal Voting Rights Act (VRA) includes the protection of these communities’ effective involvement in the political process. Therefore, redistricting in every state and locality must comply with the VRA. This imperative has nothing to do with partisan interests, and such interests must yield to VRA compliance.

4. Partisan affiliation is not an immutable characteristic. Individual people and communities of people have changed and can change their party preferences. In addition, over time, the behavior of parties and the growth and movement of particular communities of people can change the historical party preference of a state or other geographical area.

5. Finally, because redistricting addresses population movement and community growth, even states that have lost congressional seats or maintained their current number of seats unchanged could see significant changes in the composition of districts and the partisan affiliation of elected officials based on communities’ relative growth within a state.

These basic principles demonstrate the folly of focusing inordinately upon historical party preference, the current control of state legislatures, and the movement of House seats between states and regions in analyzing and evaluating Census reapportionment data.